MAHLER Symphony No. 9 / Dudamel

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GUSTAV MAHLER

Symphony No. 9
Los Angeles Philharmonic
Gustavo Dudamel
Int. Release 25 Jan. 2013
2 CDs / Download
0289 479 0924 8 2 CDs DDD GH2
Live Recording


Tracklisting

CD 1: Mahler 9

Gustav Mahler (1860 - 1911)
Symphony No.9 in D

Los Angeles Philharmonic, Gustavo Dudamel

Gesamtspielzeit: 45:57

CD 2: Mahler 9

Gustav Mahler (1860 - 1911)
Symphony No.9 in D

Los Angeles Philharmonic, Gustavo Dudamel

Gesamtspielzeit: 40:05

The orchestra is first-rate . . . gorgeous textures, powerfully rhetorical gestures and superb clarity . . . if you want a young man's view of mortality, this can't be bettered.

Dudamel is a talent every bit as special as was the young Simon Rattle, who recorded Mahler's 10th at an even more tender age . . . Dudamel lovingly shapes this vast landscape, bringing to it an affirming view. He keeps everything moving along nicely, at least until those moments of the finale when all energies ebb away and we are left with those halting, bare lines.

The most immediately recognizable qualities of Los Angeles Philharmonic music director Gustavo Dudamel are infectious passion and thrilling spontaneity . . . [on a live recording] these traits are in evidence.

It's top drawer Mahler, no half baked affair, but a finished interpretation. One senses that Dudamel knows what he's doing moment by moment as well as over the sprawling long haul. His lyrical phrasing is warm without being overwrought, never stepping out of line. His rhythmic inflection is spirited, energized . . . The strings dig in, too. Since becoming music director four years ago, Dudamel has asked his strings for greater energy and expression in their playing, polish being secondary. In this Mahler 9, they seem to never let up. The brass and woodwinds are thrilling as well, with nary a sign of live performance jitters. The death-drenched outer movements flow wonderfully, their contrasts weighed and balanced . . . The two inner movements -- a lilting scherzo and a Rondo-Burleske marked "very insolent" -- bristle with vim and vinegar.

. . . the great performances of this often convulsive work capture its fierce urgency for life in all its paradoxical glory, the tenuous fragility of our grip, our illusory sense of control, over our own destiny. The slow progression Dudamel mounts in the first movement has an elastic effect, particularly that the zoom-lens of concentrating on individual harmonies and colors indicates how close Mahler's music lies to the next generation of thinkers of the Second Viennese School . . . Dudamel controls the last, luminous adagissimo with a fine-spun, silken filament . . .

Dudamel offers a bright, healthy, sunny interpretation, autumnal at times but never wintry, wistful without ever sounding depressed. It's Mahler seen through the lens of "California Dreamin'" . . . The bloom on the Los Angeles Philharmonic's playing is palpable. Mahler has never sounded more beautiful . . . Dudamel's Ninth is more of a splendid blueprint. Did I mention that he's only 32?

It wins a special place among many fine Mahler Symphony no. 9 recordings with its unflinching textural clarity and general spaciousness . . . superb solo contributions . . . [the recorded sound is] impeccably balanced . . .

Vision is clear, ensemble tight (the virtuoso interplay in the more vertiginous passages of the third movement is striking in its clockwork precision), solo work well characterized (special praise to the solo viola), and balances are superb (I especially like the way inner lines can sear through the textures in the madder onslaughts of the third movement) . . . Dudamel has an unfailing grasp on the music's large-scale architectural unit . . . his focus is especially impressive in the finale . . . which moves with a relentless tread and consistent sense of direction from the opening phrase to the otherworldly hush of the final measures . . . Dudamel's careful attention to articulation firms up the profile of the thematic shards in a way that clarifies its progress, especially in the outer movement. He has a shrewd sense of the music's textures too: While much of the playing is, as I've suggested, brilliantly transparent, he's ready to bring out the music's proto-expressionism by stressing the density of the gnarlier passages. He's got a good appreciation of the Ninth's forward-looking qualities in other areas as well, playing up the sense of fragmentation in the second movement and, more generally, bringing out some of the symphony's weirder colors. Nor is there any lack of charisma: For sheer controlled freneticism, it would be hard to beat his performance of the third movement -- and for sheer orchestral beauty, the closing of the first movement may well bring you to tears . . . an excellent Ninth . . . it offers a kind of illumination that will impress you . . .

. . . a polished and powerful account of Mahler's final completed Symphony on this bold first recording from Dudamel and the LA Philharmonic.

. . . Dudamel's interpretation is greatly lyrical without being sentimental, poignant without being maudlin, dramatic without being overplayed. Definitely one for the collection.

Wer den Konzert-Live-Mitschnitt dieses Viersätzers nun einmal von hinten aufrollt, vom trügerisch hymnischen "Adagio", der staunt über Dudamels bemerkenswerte Ernsthaftigkeit, mit der er das Beklemmende entwickeln und ausmusizieren lässt. Das Existenzielle ist mit den Händen, aber eben auch mit dem Verstand zu greifen. Zumal die Musiker der L.A. Philharmonic die genaue Balance zwischen Emotionalität und akribischer Durchhörbarkeit der Partitur beherrschen . . . Ähnlich moderne Einblicke liefert man gleichermaßen im Eröffnungssatz . . . das Gewebe wirkt nicht etwa zäh und narkotisierend. Vielmehr kann man hier zarte Stofflichkeit bestaunen, bei der einem zugleich der Schrecken in die Glieder fährt. Erstaunlicherweise fällt jedoch gerade die Rondo-Burleske aus dem Rahmen, da Dudamel die Philharmoniker vorrangig zur technischen Makellosigkeit animiert. Und trotzdem verkommt auch das kontrapunktische Geflecht nicht zum reinen Demonstrationsobjekt, sondern offenbart geradezu eine entfesselte und dadurch mitreißende Energie . . . [eine] enorme Leistung und Reife, mit der der gerade mal 31-jährige Dudamel 2012 diesen Sinfonie-Koloss gestemmt hat.

Dudamel possède un bras et une technique de direction qui lui permettent de régler, avec une facilité déconcertante, la logique de l'oeuvre et la gestion des tempi. Son Mahler avance bon train, sans paraître précipité. L'Orchestre Philharmonique de Los Angeles, capté en concert, parvient à un niveau technique superlatif . . . une superbe lecture des notes de la partition, on peine à être ému par cette vision plastiquement irréprochable . . .

. . . les instrumentistes font valoir leur rayonnante sensibilité . . . Le balancement quasi hypnotique entre anéantissement et désir d'apaisement structure toute la démarche, à juste titre: grimaces aigres et accents sardoniques des cuivres comme enchantements nocturnes et crépusculaires des cordes et des bois, Dudamel étire la matière sonore conme un ruban élastique jusqu'au bout de souffle (dernièr chant au hautbois puis à la flute). Le geste sait être profond, captivant par le sentiment d'angoisse et de profond mystère ; il sait aussi être habile dans cette fragilité nerveuse, hypersensibilité active et inquiète qui innerve toute la séquence . . . [3me mouvement]: la suractivité marque un point de conscience panique, de malaise comme d'instabilité maladive. Dudamel évite pourtant la déroute du II grâce au flux, au mordant qui électrisent la succession des climats très agités, d'une instabilité dépressive . . . Apothéose de l'intime et chant crépusculaire au bord de la mort, le IV aspire toute réserve par sa cohérence et sa sincérité. C'est comme un dernier souffle qui saisit, d'autant plus irrépressible qu'il précède plusieurs épisodes aux contrastes et instabilités persistants. Le renoncement et l'apaisement qui font de la mort non plus une source d'angoisse mais bien l'accomplissement d'une sérénité supérieure, se réalisent sans maladresse ni défaillance. La hauteur requise, les sommets définis dessinent le plus beau chant d'adieu. Une réverence finale que n'aurait pas désavoué Mahler lui-même . . . Dudamel confirme ses affinités mahlériennes. A suivre.